Crafting Your Life Brief – Bonnie Wan – Ep 120
February 7, 2024
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
As a brand strategist, Bonnie Wan’s job is to make meaning from messiness. A great brand can distill their purpose into 1–3 words to create a clear focal point from which they can create, innovate, and make decisions. Most of us don’t realize that we can do that in our own lives.
The Life Brief is the essential playbook to unlock what you want in life. It’s a three-step tool to help you realign your path with your dreams personally, professionally, culturally, and spiritually. To create a life that is wholly your own. Join us as we dive into getting messy, gaining clarity, and taking action.
Listen if you are interested in…
- Learn more about Bonnie Wan and her role as a Brand Strategist [1:53]
- Why Bonnie wrote her book, “The Life Brief” [8:09]
- You have to get messy to gain clarity to take action [13:20]
- How intuition is involved in the process [16:56]
- What do I really want but I’m afraid to admit? [20:05]
- How to gain clarity about what’s sacred to you [29:37]
- Concisely expressing your non-negotiables [35:09]
- The unfolding: Putting clarity into motion [40:40]
- Shifting from what we want to how we want [46:36]
- What Bonnie learned from writing her book [50:32]
Why Bonnie wrote her book, “The Life Brief”
Agitation—not comfort—is the fulcrum of creation. Bonnie and her husband found themselves with three kids under the age of five. They didn’t realize how the massive change in their lives would negatively impact their relationship. Life became chaotic. Bonnie felt an imbalance and didn’t see a way out.
She started writing down her feelings with the permission to be nakedly honest. When we capture our unfiltered thoughts in writing, we can gain perspective. At the time, she was telling herself that her husband was the problem, that she had to get out of her marriage.
Once she allowed herself to collect the data and get it on paper, she had an aha moment: Her husband wasn’t the problem. How she spent her time was. She had a deep longing for meaningful time with her children, her husband, and herself.
But at the end of the day, she had nothing left for the things and the people that really mattered. That insight gave her a redirection. What did she want life to be instead?
You have to get messy to gain clarity to take action
Bonnie got messy. She started answering questions like, “What do you feel invigorated by? What makes you dream? What do you really want but you’re afraid to admit?” If we allow ourselves to get messy emotionally, we unblock intuition—deeper parts of ourselves we haven’t given time or space for. Only you know when your life brief is complete.
Once your messiness is on the table, you need to start sorting things to gain clarity. What things are sacred and non-negotiable? What things give your life context? Group those things together. Cut out the things that are circumstantial, situational and distracting. Zero in on the sacred pile. That is your clay. How do you want to form it?
That’s where the fun begins. You’re working with the things you love, unique to you. Once you know what your non-negotiables are, the challenge becomes expressing them in a way that you can tattoo on your heart. It must be concise and memorable.
After 17 years of being together, Bonnie’s husband asked her, “Are you still madly in love with me?” Her immediate answer was no but, she didn’t say it out loud. She had to question, what is mad love? Did she want it? The answer was yes.
The harder question was, “Do I want it with him?” The answer was still “Yes,” but was it possible? She was ready to find out and fall madly in love again.
When you have clarity, action follows
When people think about change, about transformation, they think about giant leaps. Bonnie invites people to make the tiniest change they can do every day to create momentum. That’s the unfolding. The smallest changes in how you show up can have the biggest ripples.
Bonnie’s path to mad love started with a simple act of appreciation when her husband handed her a cup of coffee. Her subtle shift was to turn to him, look him in the eyes and say “Thank you” and lean in for a simple kiss. She started doing that every morning. He started to show up differently, too. Four months later, they renewed their vows. They realized that feeling was always available to them—they just had to choose it.
Everyone has the choice to make a subtle shift. Everyone has different answers to “What do I want?” Bonnie’s playbook will help you get messy, gain clarity, and take action toward the life you want. Are you ready to get started?
Resources & People Mentioned
- Bonnie’s book: The Life Brief
Connect with Bonnie Wan
Connect with Nicholas Wilton and Art2Life
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the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.